Thermomecanics for sedimentary basins 

Sedimentary basins are at the interface between people and the deep Earth. Whether located  inside the continents or on their margins, they host the major part of natural geo-resources. They are therefore a major target for mining and oil industries. They also consitute natural reservoirs of fresh water and potential geological reservoirs for industrial waste (CO2 / radio-elements).Finally, they offer a largely unexploited potential for geothermal renewable energy.

From an academic point of view, sedimentary basins provide also the most continuous record of interactions between internal processes (convection, plate tectonics) and external processes (climate, eustatism, erosion) at geological timescales. This signal recorded passively by sediments has been then hidden, amplified and distorted by fluid flow circulations in the early or late diagenesis as well as by the phases of successive tectonic deformations.

To decipher this signal requires modelling of all these processes simultaneously.


Main mission of Axis 3 of GIS is to promote:

  • Model validation by data;
  • Development of multi-physics multi-scales models;

by crossing four majors technological barriers:

  • Insufficient spatial resolution in 3D;
  • Improved convergence of nonlinear problems;
  • Error measurement ;
  • Development of inverse models or data assimilation

The team includes

  • Geologists, geophysicists, geochronologists in order to ensure the everlasting bond with the data and establish / define together how errors propagate whathetever they are related to measurement, sampling or calculation as well as to lay the foundation for data assimilation in basin thermomechanical models.
  • Specialist of the mechanics of the lithosphere and the development and use of numerical codes applied to sedimentary basins.
  • Applied mathematicians working on technical problems from the Earth Sciences at the forefront of applied mathematics (Gordon Bell Price 2016 was attributed to a Geoscience problem for the first time!).


This synergy should:

  • Encourage the emergence of regional, national and international projects that will include a large part of training by research of master and doctoral students at the interfaces between mathematics and basin modelling or basin modelling and data acquisition;
  • Organize summer schools where geologists will be trained in the interpretation of models, proper use and developments in their own numerical results valuation tools.
  • Extend the use of thermomechanical modelling to industry.



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